Electric Vehicles, 50 Years Later

Electric Vehicles, 50 Years Later

What direction is electromobility heading in fifty years after the pioneering Enfield 8000?

Last month marked the half-century anniversary of the Enfield 8000's production start. This urban electric vehicle, produced in Syros, was a true harbinger of the electric car era. However, its high cost meant that the consumer audience turned away from it, despite enthusiastic articles by the British automotive press. Nevertheless, the reviewers at that time did not hide their concern. "It might take fifty years before we see electric cars on the roads in sufficient numbers," one prophetically wrote.

About forty years later, in the summer of 2013, we found ourselves in London at the launch of the BMW i3, and at that moment, it felt like history was indeed being written. "We don't want to become Kodak," declared BMW representatives, showing an apt response to the upcoming major changes by launching the electric "i" lineup.

However, the events did not unfold as we felt at that moment. The anticipated electric BMW sedan, which was to be called "i5" and presented right after the i3, was delayed for a whole decade… Moreover, the company, which did not want to "become Kodak," has still not made any time commitments to transition to electric vehicles. On the contrary, it has promised to continue producing our favorite internal combustion engines as long as there is demand!

The Inaccessibility of Electric Vehicles

Fifty years after the appearance of the Enfield 8000, the cost of electric vehicles remains the main deterrent for people to switch to them en masse. Of course, no one can deny the immense technological progress achieved by electric vehicles over the last decade. But much remains to be done, especially in the area of charging infrastructure.

Where will we find ourselves at the end of this decade? Unlike our British colleague, we will not risk making predictions. We just hope that electric vehicles will no longer be a privilege for the selected few. But, unfortunately, even regular cars, considering their current expensiveness, are now meant for the few.

Perhaps, instead of a new "Moving on Electricity" campaign, we need a new scrappage program to remove vehicles from the roads that pollute much more than modern internal combustion engines? But who would dare to propose subsidizing such a "throwaway" program?